The Maiden Name of Mrs. Eliza James
Mrs. Eliza James June 1875 - 4 May 1948 Photo taken by Mabel James Dicky from the Jamestown Historical Marker. Gave permission to use 28 December 2020
Have you ever researched back and gotten to a female then realized you were unsure of their maiden name? Well if you are lucky, you can find the death certificates of her children. If they lived during the time death certificates were recorded, you may find her listed on the death certificate with her maiden name.
Sometimes though as in this case, she was recorded but they did not use the right name. Henry James and Eliza had a son, David. He was married to Lola. Lola was the informant on the 10 June 1966 death certificate. She thought Eliza's last name was Stevens.
"South Carolina Deaths, 1915-1965," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS1F-ZSCK-S?cc=1417492 : 28 February 2020), > image 1 of 1; Department of Archives and History, State Records Center, Columbia.
About six years earlier on 31 March 1960, Henry and Eliza James had another son, Henry, to die. Now the informant was Rev. Tony James, another son. Eliza's maiden name was listed as Grant:
"South Carolina Deaths, 1915-1965," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91X-G4DH-Z?cc=1417492 : 21 April 2016), > image 1 of 1; Department of Archives and History, State Records Center, Columbia.
Now we knew what her maiden name was, but can you tell? Well we decided to go back a little further. We found Eliza James' death certificate on 3 May 1948. Her parents were Lewis Grant and Tena Brown. So Grant looks like it is her maiden name.
"South Carolina Deaths, 1915-1965," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9GZ-862L?cc=1417492 : 18 April 2016), > image 1 of 1; Department of Archives and History, State Records Center, Columbia.
Well we tried to find Lewis and Tena Grant in 1880, and something was wrong. We just could not bring it up. So we looked for Eliza Grant. Guess what we found:
"United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YBC-VS9?cc=1417683&wc=XH1W-JWL%3A1589414013%2C1589397674%2C1589414288%2C1589395509 : 24 December 2015), South Carolina > Marion > Jeffreys > ED 91 > image 5 of 54; citing NARA microfilm publication T9, (National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., n.d.)
We found in 1880 Eliza was with her mother, Tena, and her stepfather, Sidney Stevenson. Her grandmother, Hannah Pea, widowed, was also there. This explains why she was later mistaken to be Eliza Stevenson. Let me also share something with you. This has happened so many times to me. All of that searching to figure out what Eliza's maiden name was ensured that we would find Hannah Pea.
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